Comfort foods are an integral part of our culture. They evoke wonderful memories of being a child in the comfort of our homes. Not a whole lot of people say they are comforted by lettuce. Most comfort foods tend to be rich in carbohydrates, sugar, and calories. While they should not be part of your daily intake, comfort foods are beneficial in moderation. After a hard day’s work, a dish of these classics will warm your palate and your soul:
1. Macaroni and Cheese
Whether you make it from the iconic blue box or homemade, macaroni and cheese delights all ages. When Thomas Jefferson was visiting France, he fell in love with a dish they made that combined tender pasta with a rich blend of cheeses. He brought the luscious concoction back to America and the rest is history. Everyone has their own special recipe for mac and cheese. It can be served as a delicious side dish or savored on its own.
2. Mashed Potatoes
The humble potato has fed and comforted us for generations. According to Wikipedia.org, mashed potatoes started appearing in cook books as early as 1747. There is just something about the smooth texture of the mashed potato and the buttery goodness that gives instant gratitude. Mashed potatoes is among the top side dishes served in America. Many people love their smashed spuds covered with gravy. It is the best thing to happen to fried chicken since the famous colonel.
3. Ice Cream
Cold, creamy, and blissfully sweet, ice cream comforts us in bowls or cones. There are nearly as many flavors of ice cream as there are people who adore it. Ice cream is a solid American icon and a classic dessert. Because it is so versatile, people can enjoy it as a topping or by itself. As kids, we dreamed about the wonderful toppings we could add to our frozen delicacy. Many broken hearts have been soothed with a quart of ice cream and a bottle of chocolate syrup.
4. Grilled Cheese
What could be more satisfying than a golden grilled cheese sandwich fresh from the grill? Even the pickiest eaters will devour a yummy grilled cheese sandwich. The classic way is to butter bread, add a slice of cheese, and grill it to perfection. There are actually restaurants that serve gourmet –style sandwiches with exotic cheeses and artisan breads. It is a comfort food that is perfect with a glass of wine.
5. Peanut Butter and Jelly
Peanut butter and jelly are as much part of childhood as teddy bears and swing sets. This beloved pairing can even be found in fancy restaurants. With the first ooey-gooey bite, you are relaxed and transformed back to blissful memories. Some people are purists and only want a peanut butter sandwich. According to the Huffington Post, there is also the debate whether strawberry or grape jelly makes the sandwich the best. While some peanut butter connoisseurs choose smooth style, others prefer chunky. Whichever style is chosen, Americans love their peanut butter.
6. Biscuits and Gravy
Biscuits and gravy is a Southern breakfast staple. According to Wikipedia.org, it became popular around the time of the Revolutionary War. Housewives baked soft, quick rising bread and served it with a gravy made from meat drippings. We think of home, hearth, and Grandma when we savor a plate of hot biscuits and gravy. It just isn’t for breakfast anymore. Many people enjoy biscuits and gravy for any meal.
One of America’s heritage desserts is the apple pie. Just about every culture has its own version of a flaky crust filled with a luscious cooked fruit. Pie and cake have a close race as our favorite desserts. Many of our holidays center around freshly –baked pies. What can make a delicious pie even better? You can serve it a la mode with a scoop of ice cream!